I think I’ve solved it! No, not the coronavirus, that’s a real thing. No, not even my Crayola virus – I made that up. What then? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Remember the old folk song we sang as kids – “My Grandfather’s Clock?” My granddaughter likes to play it on the piano when she’s around. Well, it got me to thinking. We’ve always assumed that when the old man died, the clock stopped ticking. It’s in the lyrics, but there is room for another scenario.
The lyrics could be interpreted that the old man was already dead as the family stood by his side and the clock had already stopped, too, after it sounded its alarm. So, I began to wonder – did the clock stop when the old man died or did the old man die when the clock stopped!?
And if the alarm sounded with the clock’s final tick, perhaps, since it was in the dead of night, it scared the old man to death! So, if the alarm sounding and the clock stopping caused the man’s death, what caused that to happen? Was it just a coincidence? I don’t think so.
Oh, I know most of you don’t think like this. Most of you don’t care. You just blindly follow time and traditions, never questioning, never seeking answers. You are sheep and Little Bo Peep doesn’t have to worry if you get lost, because sooner or later, you’ll come home, wagging your tails behind you. You don’t even wonder why the sheep’s in the meadow and the cow’s in the corn! OR why anyone would trust their care to a little blue boy who would fall asleep in the hay and let them go astray!
But I digress. I wonder things. So, I wonder about that clock and the old man. And I think I have it. I cannot prove it, but I think I’m right. See what you think.
The family bought the clock when the old man was born – no, not as an old man! A baby was born and grew up to be the old man – stay with me here! For the next 90 years, the child, youth, young adult, old man wound the clock every week, and the two ticked on together, so to speak. But the man was getting old.
Across the field from his house there lived a “Farmer in the Dell.” The farmer took a wife and so on. Eventually, a mouse came into the farmer’s house after the wife’s cheese. Now, we all know mice don’t work alone. If there is one mouse, there are more!
I believe there were at least three more – three blind mice, three blind mice. They all ran after the farmer’s wife, who cut off their tails with a carving knife. – Yes, she did! But they got away.
These three blind, tailless rodents ran out into the dell and ran in the direction of the grandfather’s house. They blindly found their way inside. It was nighttime, but they were blind, so they didn’t know. In fact, it was just before 1:00 in the morning and the old man was asleep.
Well, one of the mice bumped into the grandfather clock and ran up it! Hickory, dickory, dock! The clock struck one, the mouse ran down, and according to my theory, the clock, for the first time in memory, set off its alarm and then stopped ticking.
The alarm startled the old man whose ticker wasn’t too strong either and he died of a heart attack! The family awoke and stood by his side, saying their last goodbyes to a grand ol’ gentleman who died in his sleep at 90 years old.
So, unwittingly, the Farmer in the Dell’s wife set off a chain of events when she left that cheese out to stand alone and attract mice. She chopped off their tails, which sent them blindly into the night and one of them eventually, inadvertently set off the clock whose alarm scared the old man to death! That’s how I think it all happened. Scoff if you must, but I believe it.
Unless — she trained the mice to climb the clock and the whole thing was a dastardly plot to murder the old-timer! But what would have been her motive? Humm…. I wonder…
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